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Best Little Secrets Are Kept
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The Best Little Secrets Are Kept
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The San Diego-based combo's eagerly anticipated new album The Best Little Secrets Are Kept is a uniquely magnificent collection that's truly fit for a king. The brainchild of musician/producer Jason Hill along with Brian Karscig, Mark Maigaard, & Jimmy Armbrust, Louis XIV have already drawn acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic with their inventive melange of royally raucous riffs and big bawdy beats. Atlantic. 2005.
For a hip, modern boy, Louis XIV's Jason Hill has plenty of old school rock star attitude. On his San Diego trio's debut album he declares himself a "weapon of mass destruction" and then backs it up with salacious come-ons meant to offend as they intrigue ("I know you want a strangle / Or a mouthful of gasoline / Or to be tied up and stoned"). Lyrical allusions to T. Rex and the Kinks tell only part of Louis XIV's actual musical journey. Hill may fancy Marc Bolan and Ray Davies as elegant dandies, and occasionally borrow their lightweight shuffles to great effect. However, his own proper terrain is the thorny inquisition of the Fall's Mark E. Smith. Here, his band throttles in kind, motoring a cantankerous rhythm section that's every bit as vicious as fellow modern day malcontents the Libertines or White Stripes. --Jaan Uhelszki
Top customer reviews
And for those sensitive souls who complain about the lyrics, "if you want clean fun, go fly a kite."
Not only should you buy it, but especially from this seller. The album shipped in only 2 days when it was expected an extra day. The CD is factory sealed and in perfect condition. With the shipping and condition (and quality of the music), I am a very happy customer and am completely satisfied with this purchase!
A slow, ominous violin solo starts off the album, but there the classical influence ends -- from there on, it's just rock. Suddenly angular guitars kick in, and Jason Hill starts announcing that he is a "weapon of mass destruction," in an insolent monotone that sounds like it's been filtered through a radio.
Similarly spiky rock songs follow, with lots of heavy rhythms and vocals that range from sensitive quavers to yowls. Louis XIV is at its best in these songs, which strip down garage rock to its bones, the blast of bass and electric guitar, with some wicked rhythm.
But they also have a knack for retroglam, as evidenced by the marvelous "Letter to Dominique." They're somewhat less successful in the few slow songs, such as the expansive ballad "All The Little Pieces." Piano-and-strings lo-fi just won't catch on, I'm afraid, guys. The rough sound won't catch the nuances of the song.
When a band is named after the Sun King, you'd expect a less than humble approach. But these guys don't seem to consider themselves the next best thing to God, just a rough-edged, sexy garage band. Some songs end with murmured conversations, random strums and footsteps. It sounds like they forgot to turn the mike off -- and that lack of polish and pretension is great.
The lyrics are basically about one thing -- sex. Sex sex sex, and surprisingly it comes across as roguish and laddish instead of obnoxious. "Let me buy ya a lollipop you wanna lick," Hill purrs. "You don't need to take a shower if you wanna get wet!" Hello, double and triple entendres.
Hill is absolutely marvelous as a rock vocalist, but sounds rather high-pitched and nervy in "All The Little Pieces." The rest of the time, he sounds like a raging rock lothario with a seductively gravelly voice. Sound-wise, they are deeply stripped down -- mostly electric guitar and drums, with some bass and the odd bits of violin thrown in. That's it.
Rough, raw and sexy, "The Best Little Secrets Are Kept" is a delicious treat for rock fans disenchanted by pretty-boys and trendy pop.